Infectious Disease Dominated Health News In 2013

Salmonella is a type of bacteria that can cause diarrhea, cramps and fever and sometimes chills, nausea and vomiting for up to seven days. The outbreak is linked to Foster Farms-brand chicken. The seven strains of salmonella Heidelberg involved in the outbreak appear to be especially virulent. Thirty-nine percent of those who fell ill have been hospitalized, compared with the usual 20% hospitalization rate with salmonella, according to the CDC. A 2012 outbreak in 13 states that sickened 134 people with the same type of salmonella was also linked to Foster Farms. "We never seem to have a shortage of food-borne outbreaks," says Douglas Powell, a food safety researcher who tracks outbreaks on "The Foster Farm salmonella outbreak was sort of unique because it shows the 'Just cook it' message doesn't really work. People got sick from cooked Costco chickens" because of cross-contamination between raw meat and rotisserie chickens. Growing concerns over dietary supplements Both retailers and regulators expressed growing concern over the safety of dietary supplements , particularly those claiming to help people burn fat and build muscle. In July, retail giant Wal-Mart announced that it would stop selling a popular sports dietary supplement on its website in the wake of a USA TODAY investigation. The investigation found that the product's maker, Matt Cahill, is a convicted felon who has a history of putting risky supplements on the market. In November, USPlabs recalled its OxyElite Pro sports supplement, which was linked to an outbreak of serious liver injuries, including one death and some cases that have required transplants. Meningitis outbreaks Two universities coped with outbreaks of bacterial meningitis this year, with four cases among students at the University of California-Santa Barbara and eight cases among students or visitors at Princeton University. One of the Santa Barbara students had both feet amputated because of the infection, caused by a strain of meningococcal bacteria not included in the standard vaccine. Princeton got special permission to administer a vaccine approved in Europe that does protect against this strain of bacteria. Trans fats In November, the Food and Drug Administration announced plans to take artificial trans fats entirely out of the food supply. best site